Jewish Learning, Anytime

Dive into text learning any time of the year. Our 2019 learning theme is Speaking Volumes, exploring how and why words matter.

Learning resources for the Jewish calendar

Rosh HaShanah


Special Shavuot Resource for Educators

Download discussion questions and selected texts around the Ten Commandments, with commentary by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz.

From previous years’ curricular units:



Dialogue in the Book Esther

Read Chapter 4 of Megillat Esther and start your conversation about Purim by looking at the power of words. This excerpt is an exclusive preview of the Book of Esther, part of the forthcoming volumes of the new Steinsaltz Tanakh.

Here are some questions you can use to kickstart your discussion:

  • In 4:1-6 we see Mordekhai react without words. How do his actions speak volumes? What do you hear in his silence?
  • In 4:7 we’re given a summary where Mordekhai tells Hatakh, “everything that had happened to him,” but read the words Esther spoke to Mordekhai in 4:11. In 4:12, “They told Mordekhai Esther’s words,” after which we can read Mordekhai’s specific response in 4:13. How do these verses differ? What do you think is the significance of distinguishing instances of spoken dialogue from described dialogue?
  • What do you think of Hatakh’s role as middleman in this “conversation”? When were you last asked to fill that role and what was that experience like for you?

Download Chapter 4

Tu B'Shevat

Start a conversation about the New Year for the Trees! How does the way we talk about or describe nature change our relationship with the world around us? Here are some favorites from our resource library:

Search Past Years’ Curricular Units

Search for any keyword for study/teaching guides from our library of materials. Sort by Title, age group, year or keywords.
TitleDescriptionIdeas or Topics CoveredAge GroupYear
Generations: A Family’s JourneysA family journey of three generations – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – led to the formation of a nation of people called the Children of Israel. We’ll look at how the paths of the patriarchs diverged, how their lives connected with the Land of Israel, and explore the meanings of their multi-generational saga.Family, Intergenerational, Journeys, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, patriarchs, Land of IsraelAdult2018
Jonah: A Story of Many JourneysTravel through the Book of Jonah by following the journeys of some lesser known characters. In this close reading, we will examine literary and artistic interpretations of the text.Jonah, Journeys, InteractiveAdult2018
Journey into the UnknownWhat does it mean to set out on a journey without knowing the destination? Meet Abram (Abraham) who is commanded to “go forth!” and does just that. We will explore what this passage of the Bible may reveal about journeys and progress.Journeys, Abraham, Unknown, Lekh LekhaAdult2018
The Journey of Our NamesNames are significant, and carry promises and challenges. Our own names embody aspirations – hopes that our families have for us and that we have for ourselves. We will look at how some biblical characters transform when their names change, and trace the journeys of some modern examples.Journeys, Names, Biblical Characters, Immigration, DiasporaAdult2018
The Making of a Wandering PeopleHow can a nation or a people exist in diaspora? We will explore how the experience of exile has shaped the Jewish people, from biblical times to the present day.Journeys, Diaspora, Wandering, Exile, Babylon, InteractiveAdult2018
The Stops Along the WayWhen we go on a journey, our horizons are broadened, and we gain new insights into the world. Is it any wonder that we use journeys as a metaphor for life? We will look closely at texts that tell of journeys and paths and finding ways these ancient stories can inform our present-day behaviors.Journeys, Metaphors, Exodus, Masei, ReflectionAdult2018
On a Journey with JonahWhat would it be like to meet Jonah, and get caught up in his extraordinary journey? We’ll travel with Jonah and meet some other characters along the way, looking at how the journey of one person can affect others.Journeys, Jonah, Biblical Characters, Personal Growth, RelationshipsMiddle School2018
Journey of My NameWhere does your name come from? According to Jewish tradition, names have a special meaning. They tell us about our past and contain hopes for the future. We will trace the history of our names and find out what each name’s journey can tell us about ourselves.Journeys, Names, Jewish Traditions, Hebrew Names, Family HistoryElementary School2018
PJ Library Programming UnitsPJ Library offers books and activities to engage young families with the theme of journeys.Journeys, PJ LibraryEarly Education2018
Discussion Guide: Genealogy and Family HistoriesGenealogy is a path that we can trace. In doing so, we learn about ourselves and contemplate the future. Here are some suggested questions to help you facilitate a conversation about family histories and genealogy.Journeys, Intergenerational, Genealogy, Discussion, SupplementAdult2018
The Ugly Vessel and the CraftsmanIs there value in appreciating both the vessel and what it contains? We will explore different ideas of how to assess beauty and ugliness and their sources. We will dive into some interesting, and perhaps even humorous, stories from the Talmud.Talmud, Beauty, UglinessAdult2017
The Good and the BeautifulWe use the words “beautiful” and “good” in our everyday lives, but when we try to define them we are less certain of their meanings. We’ll take a close look at the story of Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and find ways to see these concepts in a fresh light.Good, Evil, Beauty, Ugliness, Biblical Characters, Adam, Eve, Gan Eden, Garden of EdenAdult2017
Hiddur Mitzvah: Beauty, Awe and ActionIn performing mitzvot (commandments) one can abide by the letter of the law, or in a way that shows special reverence to God. The Talmud urges us to do mitzvot the latter way – beautifully, even if simply. This is known as hiddur mitzvah: beautifying the mitzvah. This session looks at connections between beauty and the Divine, through individual actions.Hiddur Mitzvah, Beautifying the Mitzvah, Beauty, Divinity, InteractiveAdult2017
“The Mirrors of the Women”: Beauty, Desire and the Divine Exodus records a strange donation to the Tabernacle – a set of women’s mirrors. Who were the women behind this unusual gift and what is their story? Why did Moses want to reject their donation? This session addresses the place of beauty, and whether sexuality and sanctity can coexist.Beauty, Divinity, Mishkan, Moses, InteractiveAdult2017
Appreciating Beauty and ArtThere is a rich and varied tradition of Jewish art rooted in our history, culture, and religion. How can art enhance your relationship with Judaism? What doors are opened? Whether in the Mishkan, ancient synagogues or art in homes today, the beauty of Jewish art can connect us with the human experience and open our eyes to see beyond the object.Beauty, Art, Mishkan, InteractiveAdult2017
Beauty, Power and TemptationIs being beautiful a requirement to achieve positions of power? Can beauty ever be a disadvantage? We will examine some stories of Biblical characters to explore the ways in which beauty and power are intertwined.Beauty, Biblical Characters, Joseph, Esther, David, Bathsheba, InteractiveAdult2017
Looking Beyond the SurfaceWe will explore some texts that challenge our understanding of what it means to be beautiful or ugly. This session includes some stories from the Talmud that offer insights into inner and outer beauty and challenge us to look beyond the surface.Beauty, Ugliness, Talmud, RelationshipsMiddle School2017
Embracing a Beautiful WorldWhat is something beautiful that you own? What makes it beautiful to you? What is something beautiful that you cannot own? We will explore beauty in our world and look together at how Judaism and beauty connect.Beauty, NatureElementary School2017
PJ Library Programming UnitsFamily Engagement Ideas for Learning about beauty in the world and in how we treat each other.Beauty, Nature, Relationships, PJ LibraryEarly Education2017
Shmita: A Cycle of Rest, Release and OwnershipShmita is a year of rest and release for the land. It can also be meaningful today as a marker of cycles, a time for personal renewal, and as a reminder of our responsibilities to others and the world around us.Shmita, Environment, NatureAdult2016
“Green Torah Wisdom”Living modern life in balance with nature is a challenge, but Judaism offers solutions that may surprise you. What does it mean to be a Jewish environmentalist? (Includes ELI Talk video)Nature, EnvironmentAdult2016
A Time for RainThe Jewish prayer for rain asks for rain that is for blessing and not for curse. Rain can be a blessing but it can also cause destruction. Explore the complex relationship humans have with rain, and how Jewish texts can help us connect to rain and the environment.Rain, Nature, EnvironmentAdult2016
Healing: A Natural Practice?This session navigates the tension in Jewish sources between God as granter of life and healing and the practice of medicine by humans. Is it “unnatural” to interfere and make changes in the natural world?Medicine, NatureAdult2016
Planting for the FuturePlanting is at the core of gardening and farming. It is also a fundamental metaphor for long-term planning and investment. We will examine the significance of planting within Jewish life.Nature, Environment, SustainabilityAdult2016
Ruler, Steward, Servant: Humanity’s Relationship with NatureWas the world created for our sake? Are we masters over the animals and plants, or are we their stewards? We’ll consider the relationship between humanity and nature through a close reading of the Creation story.Nature, Humanity, CreationAdult2016
The Power of Planting: Appreciating Seeds and SaplingsPlanting signifies new beginnings – when the world was created, when the nation moved into its homeland, and when children are born. We’ll discover more about planting and our impact on the future.Nature, Trees, Sustainability, CreationMiddle School2016
Loving the TreesIt is important to care for trees, by planting new ones and caring for old ones. How can we learn from trees? Explore stories from Jewish texts that teach us how to love trees.Nature, TreesElementary School2016
PJ Library Programming UnitsFamily Engagement Ideas for Learning about Our World and NatureNature, PJ LibraryEarly Education2016
Loving and Waiting: A Talmudic Perspective on RelationshipsThe rabbis of the Talmud had strong opinions about romantic love. We will explore some extreme examples of marriages portrayed in the Talmud. What is the connection between loving and waiting? What can these stories teach us about how to balance competing loves?Love, Relationships, Marriage, Talmud, WaitingAdult2015
Loving God and Loving OurselvesWhat does it mean to love God? Can a relationship with the Divine lead us to love ourselves? We are told that we should love God with all our hearts (Deut. 6:5). This session asks whether loving God can be a vehicle to loving ourselves and to becoming more whole.Love, Divine Love, GodAdult2015
Loving the Ger: Who is the Stranger in our Midst?Being commanded to love is unusual, yet the Bible clearly instructs us to love the stranger/convert.  Our experience as strangers in Egypt helps us to appreciate the importance of this commandment and the moral imperative that underlies it. What does it mean to be commanded to love a category of people? Who are the strangers?Love, Stranger, Ger, EmpathyAdult2015
Balancing Love and Obedience: The Curious Case of Nadav and AvihuHow do we balance love and obedience in the service of God? In this session, we will explore the death of Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, at the dedication of the Tabernacle. The incident raises questions about the tension between spontaneous religious expression and obedience to a religious system.Love, Aaron, Divinity, God, Divine Love, Biblical CharactersAdult2015
Fathers, Sons and Brothers: A Story of Love and HateIn this session, we explore the role of favoritism in the Torah. Does too much parental love result in sibling hatred? Is reconciliation ever possible? Story after story in Genesis describes how one child is chosen at the expense of the others. Jacob clearly loves his son Joseph most. Rebekah prefers Jacob while Isaac loves Esau, Jacob’s twin. When one child is the favorite, is it possible for families to remain united?Sibling Rivalry, Family Dynamics, Love, Jacob, Esau, Joseph, Rebekah, Biblical CharactersAdult2015
Is Love Always Good? Exploring Love in The Thirteen Petalled RoseIn Judaism, individual human emotions are considered neither “good” nor “bad.” How does this fundamental idea at the core of Jewish belief apply to love? Through a careful look at an excerpt from The Thirteen Petalled Rose, a book of Kabbalah by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, we will explore the Jewish approach to human character traits and discover its wisdom.Love, Emotion, Good, Bad, Kabbalah, Thirteen Petalled RoseAdult2015
Love and Deception: The Story of Jacob, Rachel and LeahAfter Jacob deceives his father to receive the first-born blessing, he is sent to his mother’s birthplace to find a wife. There he encounters Rachel and falls in love. This session explores their love story, the deception involving Laban and Leah, and the definition of true love.  The Torah’s description of Jacob, Rachel and Leah leads us to think more deeply about the different kinds of love.Love, Jacob, Family Dynamics, Blessings, Marriage, Leah, Rachel, Biblical CharactersAdult2015
The Distance Between Love and Hate: A Story of BrothersWould it surprise you to learn that parents in the Bible played favorites? The Bible tells us Rebekah loved their son Jacob, while Isaac loved their other son, Esau. Then Jacob loved his son Joseph more than all of his other children. In both instances, siblings began to hate one another. This session explores the role of favoritism in the Bible; and the relationship between too much parental love and brotherly hatred.Love, Sibling Rivalry, Family Dynamics, Jacob, Esau, Joseph, Biblical CharactersMiddle School2015
Playing Favorites: Parents’ Love and Brothers’ HateImagine being the only one in the family or class to receive a Chanukah present. How would everyone else feel watching you unwrap the only gift? It may be surprising to learn that parents in the Bible play favorites. Let’s explore how these stories of brothers teach us about playing favorites and learning to overcome sibling rivalry.Love, Family Dynamics, Sibling Rivalry, Biblical CharactersElementary School2015
PJ Library UnitLove Stories: Using PJ Library Books to Explore the Jewish Concept of Loving Parents and Grandparents. Download it or read it now.Love, Family Dynamics, GrandparentsEarly Education2015
Moses: The Birth of a LeaderWe all know Moses as the ultimate leader, but what about the story of Moses before he became the great figure of history? The circumstances of Moses’s birth, his childhood environment and his actions as a young man are all described in the Bible, too. What impact did these formative years have on his character? In this session we will discuss essential traits of leadership and what contributes to the development of a leader.Biblical Characters, MosesAdult2014
Eve: Separation and Wholeness in the Garden of EdenExplore the creation of human beings through the story of Eve and how she came about through an act of splitting. This session will look at how the first people became independent, separate beings with conflicting desires, and the resulting quest for wholeness.Biblical Characters, Eve, Garden of Eden, Gan EdenAdult2014
Deborah: Victory in the Hands of a WomanDeborah was a prophetess, judge and national leader during the first settlement of Canaan; her story illuminates the role of women in ancient Israel. This session explores power in both the public sphere of the battlefield and the private sphere of the tent, and how our understanding of Deborah’s role in society can inform how we view leadership today.Biblical Characters, DeborahAdult2014
The People of Sodom: The Making of an Evil SocietyWhen God confides in Abraham that He is going to destroy Sodom, He does not explain Sodom’s transgressions. What kind of society was Sodom? What were their values? Why should their behavior be avoided? This session asks why it is so important for Abraham and his descendants – us – to know about the People of Sodom, their philosophy and, ultimately, their downfall.Biblical Characters, Sodom, AbrahamAdult2014
Abraham: Journey Into the UnknownWe meet Abraham as he embarks on a journey. The command “go forth” presents him with numerous challenges and opportunities. What does it mean to go forth? Why is the destination unknown? This session explores what Abraham’s journey reveals about his character and how it inspires us to stride boldly into the unknown.Biblical Characters, AbrahamAdult2014
Balaam: To Bless or To CurseBalaam is known as a villain – a prophet hired to curse the Children of Israel in the desert. There is more to his story, however, and the complexity leads us to significant questions about power, ability and how we choose to act. In this session we explore Balaam’s motivations and prophetic ability to understand how one can use – or misuse – one’s talents.Biblical Characters, BalaamAdult2014
Esther and Moses: Not All Heroes Wear CapesHow do you know who is a hero? In this class, students will meet Esther and Moses to find out what makes a true hero.Biblical Characters, Esther, Moses, HeroMiddle School2014
Abraham: The TrailblazerMeet Abraham, Judaism’s first explorer. Students will work together to learn about Abraham and his adventurous spirit.Biblical Characters, Abraham, AdventureElementary School2014
Ometz Lev – CouragePJ Library family units focused on Ometz Lev – Courage. The family programming units are based on the books, Noah’s Bed and The Sabbath Lion.PJ Library, Ometz Lev, Noah, ShabbatEarly Education2014
Bezalel’s Creativity: Art as an Expression of the DivineGod chooses Bezalel to build the sanctuary in the desert because he was filled with “the spirit of God.” In this session, we will explore God’s role as creator and its implications for humankind, as we are created “in the image of God.” Can an appreciation for artistic creativity bring us closer to the divine? How can art be used as a medium for spiritual development?Creativity, Art, DivinityAdult2013
Creating Friendship: Acquire for Yourself a FriendWhat is the essence of friendship? Can true friendship ever be consistently one-sided? This session explores friendships in the Bible, the Talmud and the ancient world. How do we learn to trust another person? What must we do to earn friendship?Creativity, FriendshipAdult2013
Creativity and Torah StudyDoes commitment to a tradition curtail individuality? Do rules and structure inhibit individual expression? This session asks whether religion is the enemy of innovation. Is it ever possible for rules to encourage creativity? What frameworks foster creativity?Creativity, Innovation, TorahAdult2013
Creating the Amidah: How our Defining Prayer Came into BeingThis session begins with stories of the origin of the Amidah (silent standing prayer) and explores the communal and personal significance of prayer. Can a prayer be created by committee or must it be the result of individual expression? Can one person speak for all Jews?Creativity, Prayer, AmidahAdult2013
Creation and CreativityIn this class we look at the structure and creativity in God’s creation of the world along with humankind’s responsibility to the world. We are not only care givers but we are partners in creating and sustaining the planet.Creativity, EnvironmentAdult2013
Creating Shabbat: Rest as a Creative ActThe Torah tells us that God rests when the six days of creation are completed. Thus, Shabbat is created. We have the chance to emulate God and shape the world as well, both by being creative and by instituting meaningful rest in our lives and our societies. Is it ever possible to be unplugged?Creativity, Rest, RitualAdult2013
Fear and SplendorIn this session we will explore the building of the Golden Calf and the building of the Sanctuary (mishkan). We will highlight the power of working together and understand that collaboration can yield both wonderful and terrible results. Together, we will make our own group project.Creativity, Mishkan, CooperationMiddle School2013
Creating the WorldThe book of Genesis outlines the way that God created the world. In this session, we will explore the world God created while also looking into the smaller worlds that each and every one of us creates.Creativity, God, CreationElementary School2013
Creating Intergenerational Community TogetherWith the books "Say Helo, Lily", "Rise and Shine" and "Red, Blue and Yellow Yarn", explore how community involves family and friends of all ages.PJ Library, Community, CreativityEarly Education2013

Blessing the Bad
David, a well-known lawyer, is badly hurt in a car accident. Should he say a blessing? Must we believe that “everything is for the best”? This unit looks at the philosophical, religious and textual responses to the existential question of blessing the bad.Blessings, GratitudeAdult2012

Celebrating Differences
The Bible tells us that we are all created “in the image of God.” Yet we all look so different. How do blessings deepen our ability to appreciate the world around us? What are the differences between respect, honor and love?Blessings, Gratitude, DiversityAdult2012

Exploring Blessings
Our sages believed that every unusual sight deserved its own blessing—it was their way of savoring the moment. Did you know that when you hear thunder or see a beautiful view, traditional Judaism offers up different blessings to say? This unit helps us to appreciate how blessings can helpBlessingsAdult2012

Gratitude & Birkat HaMazon
Most cultures are thankful before the meal; Judaism emphasizes the blessings that we say when our plates are cleared. This unit centers on Birkat HaMazon, and explores the value of expressing gratitude both for the gift and to the giver of the gift.Gratitude, PrayerAdult2012

Is There a Recipe for Prayer?
Some prayers are read from the book; others are spontaneous cries from the heart. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches?Prayer, Gratitude, BlessingsAdult2012

Finding God, Finding Gratitude
What are you grateful for in your life? What is the connection between gratitude and prayer? Through shared text study, this unit explores the idea that it is gratitude that connects us to ourselves, our community and God.Gratitude, GodAdult2012

The Wonderful World of Some Wacky Blessings
How do you truly appreciate a moment? Judaism offers some fairly unexpected blessings. Did you know that there is a blessing to say when you see a rainbow? hear thunder? There is even a blessing to say over a beautiful view!BlessingsMiddle School2012

Experience a Blessing
There are blessings we say over food and blessings we say over experiences. In this class, we will explore different blessings that involve taste, sight, hearing, touch and smell. Our five senses can help us learn about blessings!BlessingsElementary School2012

PJ Library Programming Units
Engage the littlest learners in activities around gratitude and blessings.Gratitude, Blessings PJ LibraryEarly Education2012
Introduction to the Shema
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
In this overview and introduction to the Shema, we learn that it is not only a statement, but also as an experience. Both ancient and modern commentaries are offered side-by-side in an attempt to offer a deeper understanding of this prayer.ShemaAdult2011
The Challenge of Idolatry
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
Worship of one God is the founding principle of Judaism and the focus of the Shema. Radical for its time, monotheism is today a dominant idea in Western culture, and something that we rarely think about. This
class helps us to consider the dangers, complexities, or
even the attractions of idol worship, ideas that may be
new and unusual for us today.
God, Idolatry, Avodah ZarahAdult2011
Hear, Israel: Hearing the Shema
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
The words of the Shema themselves command us to hear or listen. What are we hearing or listening to, and what can we learn from Jewish texts about what “Shema” means? What does it mean to hear or listen?Shema, prayer, GodAdult2011
Exploring Our Ideas About God
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
Ever since Jacob wrestled with God, Jews have explored our relationship with God and the presence of God in our lives. What what are different ideas about God in our tradition? Is it possible to define the concept of “God”? How can we understand God when we only have our own, human language to describe God?God, Psalm 139Adult2011
God and the People of Israel
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
How does the Shema connect us as a people, and what is God’s relationship with God’s people? What does it mean to be one people? Jewish Unity, Shema, GodAdult2011
Israel and Jewish Home
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
Is the land of Israel central to our Jewish identities? What does it mean if we live there; what does it mean if we live elsewhere? How has the mitzvah of aliyah been understood throughout Jewish intellectual tradition?Israel, Eretz Yisrael, AliyahAdult2011
Shema Yisrael: What Are We Witnessing?
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
“Shema” can be interpreted as hearing, but also it seems to serve as a call to witness. In saying the Shema, what are we witnessing? What does it mean to be a witness?Shema, prayerAdult2011
The Shema's Place in Jewish Liturgy
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
In addition to being a phrase of affirmation and comfort, the Shema is a central part of Jewish liturgy. What role does it play in the liturgy? What is the intention behind our recitation of the Shema in its liturgical context?ShemaAdult2011
Monotheism and Oneness
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
Monotheism is one of the great contributions of the Jewish people. What does it mean to us that God is one?God, theology, Jewish unity, ShemaAdult2011
Boker Tov! Good Morning!
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
The primary goal of the program is to introduce families to the concept of beginning and ending each day with gratitude.PJ Library, gratitudeEarly Education2011
On the Bedtime Shema
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
Our sages compiled a “bedtime themed” liturgy
known as the Bedtime Shema. The liturgy is meant
to acknowledge our fear at going to sleep and hope
that we return to our bodies. When parents say the
Shema with children, the moment becomes one of
transmission of Jewish commitment and commitment
to prayer.
Shema, bedtimeEarly Education2011
The Bedtime Sh'ma
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
During the course of this program, families will explore several different ways of adding Jewish content their nightly bedtime routines. PJ Library, ShemaEarly Education2011
A Mezuzah on the Door
Teaching Guide | Study Guide
The primary goal of this program is to introduce families and
involve children in the making and mitzvah of hanging a mezuzah.
PJ Library, Shema, MezuzahEarly Education2011
Who Wants Miracles?The Sages have insights on the consequences of miracles, and whether they are always desirable. Sometimes, miracles indicate a certain failing in humanity to govern their lives. Miracles, in these circumstances, are borne out of desperation and powerlessness.MiraclesAdult2010
What's in a Miracle?Anytime one feels a prayer has been answered, would that be considered a miracle? Does a miracle have to have
a supernatural component to be considered “miraculous”? These Talmudic passages show us that miracles are really part of present-day reality. How can this be?
The World is a Human ResponsibilityThe human tendency to conquer nature can motivate much creativity, but it pulls against the need to protect nature for posterity. Is nature’s duty to fulfill human needs? If so, why do we need to protect our world?Environment, natureAdult2010
Is a Man a Tree of the Field?In many ways the conflict between commentators mirrors the environmental debate today. As stewards of the
planet, to what degree may we exploit its riches? What are the parameters of responsibility? As the commentators
parse this ambiguous verse, they come out with different conclusions.
Environment, tree, natureAdult2010
Arguing With GodHow does God lead the world? And how can humanity influence an omnipotent and omniscient being? Logic may
dictate that if we mere mortals cannot understand how God operates in the world, how can we have the temerity to influence God’s behavior?
God, Moses, SamuelAdult2010
Testing GodA covenantal relationship assumes reciprocity. God promises us life and long days in exchange for fulfilling the commandments. What happens when we test the waters? What happens when we do something in order to see how God will respond? Are we allowed to play “gotcha” with God?GodAdult2010
Leadership and HumilityThe Hebrew word for humility is mentioned in the Torah only once. When Aaron and Miriam choose to use Moshe’s marriage to the Kushite woman as a pretext for challenging his authority, Moshe does not defend himself: the narrative describes him as the “humblest of all men who dwell on the face of the earth.” Leadership, Aaron, Miriam, MosesAdult2010
Models of LeadershipJewish leadership comes in all shapes and sizes. When we ask, “What are the essential qualities of a leader?” the Jewish answer is: It depends...Social scientists have much to say on this subject and so does the Talmud.LeadershipAdult2010
A Tale of Two RabbisThe Talmudic story of Ilfa and Rabbi Yochanan asks, "Can or should a leader be humble?"Leadership, humilityAdult2010
What is Talmud TorahTraditionally, Torah study is called in Hebrew Talmud Torah. This expression is found in the Mishnah and means “the
study of Torah.” But why is Talmud Torah of such monumental importance in our tradition? (Special guest unit from the Florence Melton Adult Mini-Schools)
Melton, Talmud Torah, Adult2010
Beauty: Asset or Liability?How do you define beauty? How do our sages differ on what makes a person beautiful? Can beauty get you into trouble?Love, beautyAdult2010
Keeping Commitments & TzedakahAside from generosity, there are many other aspects of being a Ba’al Tzedaka, and sensitive to the dignity of the person one is helping. These are issues of character that go well beyond discreet acts of generosity and benevolence.TzedakahAdult2010
Exemplars of EmpathyAbba the Surgeon is a skilled blood-letter, whose wisdom is tested by two scholars. Even though he himself is not a scholar, Abba the Surgeon receives approval from the Heavenly Academy every day. What’s his secret?TzedakahAdult2010
Three Keys: Hannah's PrayerHannah's prayer is interpreted in many ways by our sages. What is significant about God being directly responsible for something instead of an emissary? Why these three thing? What do they indicate about God’s relationship to the community?Prayer, HannahAdult2010
Love and MarriageWhat is the purpose of the passions released when one is caught in the thrall of romance? How is one supposed to assimilate these feelings and use them for a sacred purpose? What does the experience of love teach us about our relationship with each other and our relationship with God?Love, marriage, relationshipsAdult2010
To Whom Does God Listen?We pray in many different contexts, but often they are in cases of despair, danger or desire. In these sources, prayer is not a negotiation between two equal parties, but a petition for mercy where the only recourse is absolute sincerity and contrition. PrayerAdult2010
Miracles as Signs and WondersWhat constitutes a miracle? Is believing in miracles problematic? The Talmud and our sages have different ideas of what a miracle is, and who deserves to witness them.MiraclesAdult2010
The Man Who Would Give Too MuchTzedakah may be the least controversial concept in Judaism, but the Talmudic tradition and its Rabbinic successors view the whole enterprise of giving as more complex than one might think. Tzedakah, charityAdult2010
What Causes Prayer to Work?Explpore two cases of Prayer in the Torah that illustrate when prayers are answered and when they are rejected.PrayerAdult2010
PJ Library Programming UnitsThese PJ Library books and activities encourage families to think about miracles like Hanukkah, and the ways kind actions build welcoming communities.PJ Library, Bal Taschit, Miracles, Hiddur Mitzvah, Pirsum HaNes, Hanukkah, Celebrating, God, Tzedakah, Tikkun Olam, Thankfulness, Ma'akhil Re'evim, Feeding the Hungry, Welcoming Guests, CommunityEarly Education2010
TitleDescriptionIdeas or Topics CoveredAge GroupYear

2018: Journeys

2017: Beauty & Ugliness

2016: Nature

2015: Love

2014: Heroes & Villains

2013: Creating Together

2012: Blessings & Gratitude

2011: Shema

2010: Ta'anit

The 9th annual Global Day of Jewish Learning took place on November 11, 2018, with the theme of Extraordinary Passages: Texts and Travels, exploring the journeys that matter most to us.

Access the 2018 curriculum and learning materials

Watch the recordings of the 2018 Global Day ON AIR video series.

The 8th annual Global Day of Jewish Learning took place on November 12, 2017, exploring Beauty & Ugliness. Asking tough questions about beauty, ugliness and perception can teach us about gender dynamics, social power, self-worth and control from narratives in Jewish texts.

Access the 2017 curriculum and learning materials

Watch the recordings of the 2017 Global Day ON AIR video series.

The 7th annual Global Day of Jewish Learning took place on November 20, 2016. The theme was Under the Same Sky: The Earth is Full of Your Creations, which explored our world and nature.

Access the 2016 curriculum and learning materials

Watch the recordings of the Global Day ON AIR, the live webcast series.

The 6th annual Global Day of Jewish Learning was on Sunday Nov 15, 2015. The theme was Love: Devotion, Desire & Deception, focusing on the many facets of love, in our Jewish texts and in our modern lives.

Access the 2015 curriculum and learning materials

2014 curriculum thumbThe Global Day’s fifth year took place on Sunday Nov 16, 2014. The theme was Heroes & Villains, Saints & Fools: The People in The Book, focusing on the lives and lessons of biblical characters.

Access the 2014 curriculum and learning materials

2013 curriculum thumbThe fourth annual Global Day of Jewish Learning was held on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013. The theme of the day and curriculum was Creating Together: Jewish Approaches to Creativity and Collaboration.

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2012 curriculum thumbOn Sunday November 18, 2012, 350 Jewish communities across the world joined together for the third annual Global Day of Jewish Learning. The theme of the Global Day and curriculum was Jewish concepts of blessing and gratitude.

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Would you like to learn more? Click here to download the cumulative Global Day 2012 Report.

2011 curriculum thumbGlobal Day 2011 was an astounding success, uniting 250 Jewish communities across 40 countries in a day of Jewish learning. The theme of Global Day 2011 was the Unity of the Jewish people, as seen through the Shema prayer. In the words of Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, “For the Jewish people, the Shema is a call, a slogan, a sign of identification and an expression of great emotions. It is a declaration of bond, principles and identity.”

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2010 curriculum thumbThe Global Day of Jewish Learning was conceived to mark the completion of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s monumental translation on the Talmud. Thanks to your astounding level of participation, the inaugural 2010 Global Day was a historic achievement. It reached every corner of the Jewish world and – perhaps, for the first time – brought Jews across the spectrum of beliefs and backgrounds together in a day of study and unity.  You then truly went “a step ahead” by calling for an annual event.

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